Thinking for a Change in the Community
August 29th, 2015
Restorative Partner’s is currently teaching Thinking for a Change to probationers at our new location. Thinking for a Change (T4C) is an integrated, cognitive behavioral change program for offenders that includes cognitive restructuring, social skills development, and development of problem solving skills. T4C was developed by Barry Glick, Ph.D.; Jack Bush, Ph.D.; and Juliana Taymans, Ph.D. in cooperation with the National Institute of Corrections. This cognitive behavior change has been shown to assist people in changing their patterns of thinking.
Originally, this program was designed for people who are incarcerated, but it is also very effective with people on probation. We are now on week 6, with a total of 25 lessons in all. Typically there are 10 to 12 probationers in our class each week. There are three of us facilitating the classes. Restorative Partners hired a certified trainer to prepare us to present the material effectively. Our effort to be engaging and to keep the lessons interactive, while remaining true to the structured curriculum, are paying off. Trust is developing more and more each week. This contributes to a very cohesive group.
Our students come from diverse backgrounds, however they all share a strong desire to turn their lives around and stay out of the criminal justice system. It is gratifying to observe a near universal willingness to participate. This allows us to use the experiences in their lives as points of discussion in class. It is exciting to see the light bulbs going off! People are beginning to see that they can be in control of their thoughts instead of their thoughts being in control of them!